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Who was the Rebel— the Traitor— 
the Trans-Susquehanna man or the 
Cis-Susquehanna man ? 



Rev. James Battle Avirett 

On the occasion of Laying the Foundation Stone of the Central 
Shaft in the North Carolina Plot in the Stonewall Cemetery, 
Winchester, Virginia, 17th September, 1897, the thirty- 
fifth anniversary of the battle of Sharpsburg. 


Published through the generosity of 


Dedicated to the memory of the Mothers, Wives, Sisters and Daughters of the 
Army of Northern Virginia. 

In Exchange 
Univ. of North Carolina 
3gP 2 7 1033 

Who was the Rebel — the Traitor — 
the Trans-Susquehanna man or the 
Cis-Susquehanna man ? 



Rev. James Battle Avirett 

On the occasion of Laying the Foundation Stone of the Central 
Shaft in the North Carolina Plot in the Stonewall Cemetery, 
Winchester, Virginia, 17th September, 1897, the thirty- 
fifth anniversary of the battle of Sharpsburg. 


Published through the generosity of 


Dedicated to the memory of the Mothers, Wives, Sisters and Daughters of the 
Army of Northern Virginia. 



The unselfish and far-reaching devotion of the women of North 
Carolina to the fair fame of the Commonwealth which produced the 
greatest number of devoted citizen soldiery in the great struggle for 
Southern Independence, from 1861 to 1865, has made this day possi- 
ble. The beautiful devotion of the women of the Shenandoah Valley 
throughout a whole generation has maintained the identity of each 
grave in North Carolina's lot of Honor in the Stonewall Cemetery. 
The unexampled tenderness of the great Southern philanthropist, 
Mr. Charles Broadway Rouss, has clothed the 17th of September, 
1897, with such high courtesy and generous hospitality as to make it 
in very truth a Red Letter Day in the history of that State where his 
grateful friends and admirers are numbered by thousands. The no- 
ble people of this noble old town of Winchester have shown them- 
selves such true Virginians. These four, the women of his native 
State, those of Virginia and our noble host, and the Ashby camp and 
others as well, we would gratefully mention in close connection with 
the oration of the day written, spoken and published with the desire 
and aim paramount to prove that the parties to the fearful strife who 
lived on the north side of the Susquehanna were the rebels, and not 
we. If he has succeeded in this effort to produce some of the mem- 
oranda from which an honest, fair and impartial history shall be wri:- 
ten, he will be more than compensated. 


Louisburg, Kittrell's, N. C, Oct 5, 1897. 


Laying of the Corner Stone of a Monument to Be Erected in Stone- 
wall Cemetery. 


Arrival of Mr. Charles B. Rouss and Partv. 

The Parade and March to the Cemetery — Laying of the Corner 
Stone — Address by Rev. Dr. James B. Avirett — Tribute to the 
Women of North Carolina and the Shenandoah Valley — Mr. 
Rouss' Generosity Recognized — Governor Vance's Work — North 
Carolina's Troops in the Civil War. 

(Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.) 
Winchester, Va., Sept. 17. — This has been the "red letter" day for 
the fair of the Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Society, and the at- 
tendance was larger than any during the week. It was not only 
Rouss day, but the corner stone laying of a monument to the North 
Carolina Confederate dead who sleep in Stonewall Cemetery. After 
the usual hot weather for September for the past two weeks, to-day 
was cool and delightful. A delegation from North Carolina arrived 
last night. Their presence added much to the interest of the day. 
Mr. Charles Broadway Rouss, who delayed his usual annual visit to 
the fair from Thursday because of the ceremonies at Stonewall Ceme- 
tery, arrived at 9.30 o'clock via the Cumberland Valley Railroad. He 
was accompanied by Messrs. Erastus Wiman, Thos. D. Beall, of the 
New York Daily News, George Hertzberger, John Scott and Mr. A. 
T- Smith, Mr. Rouss' private secretary. The party traveled in the 
special car Sydenham, of the Pennsylvania Railroad. They were 
met at the depot by Messrs. T. M. Bantz, Charles W. Hensell and 
other friends of Mr. Rouss, and were driven to the residence of Judge 
Wm. M. Atkinson, where the Judge received the party with a neat 
and appropriate speech; thence to the handsome residence of Mr. 
James B. Russell, where Mr. Rouss met Miss Mamie Russell and a 
bevy of handsome young ladies. The party drove to Mt. Hebron 
Cemetery, to visit the Rouss lot. Each grave was covered with beau- 
tiful floral designs, placed there by friends, and it was a touching 
sight to see them raised before Mr. Rouss that he might know of 
their fragrance. 

The Parade. 

The party was then driven to ex-Governor Holiday's for lunch, 
and where they remained until the parade formed for its march to the 
cemetery, which was as follows: Chief marshal and aids; Friendship 
Band; Ashby Camp Guard, Capt. A. M. Baker; Turner Ashby Camp 
Confederate Veterans, Capt. John J. Williams; delegates from visit- 
ing camps; carriages containing Revs. Drs. Avirett, Hyde and Cox, 
O. W. Blacknall and Gen. W. H. Cheek, C. B. Rouss, A. J. Smith, 
Mr. Wiman and Judge Atkinson; Friendship Fire Company, Lieu- 
tenant Grim; Rouss Hook and Ladder, Captain Schneider; Union 
Band; Union Fire Company, Captain Kinzel. 

The Corner Stone Laid. 

At the cemetery the services were opened with prayer by Rev. S. 
K. Cox, D. D., pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, this 
city. The ceremonies of the laying of the corner stone were presided 
over by Rev. Dr. John P. Hyde, chaplain of Turner Ashby Camp, 
Confederate Veterans. The ceremonies were beautiful and impres- 
sive, and upon closing Dr. Hyde read the following documents, 
which were carefully laid in the box of the corner-stone: A complete 
roster of the North Carolina troops furnished the late Confederacy; 
life of Hon. Z. B. Vance, with the speech vindicatory of the South 
delivered in Boston, and that delivered in Baltimore on the last year 
of the war in North Carolina; General Lee's farewell address; Balti- 
more "Sun," and other papers; "Pickett or Pettigrew," by Captain 
Bond, vindicating North Carolina at Gettysburg. 

The ceremonies of the corner-stone laying were closed by prayer 
by Rev. Nelson P. Dame. Then began the speech-making. Capt. 
J. J. Williams in a pleasant way welcomed the North Carolinian and 
the New York guests to the city, after which Colonel Cheek, of North 
Carolina, made a short, but deeply interesting talk. He then intro- 
duced the orator of the day, Rev. James B. Avirett. At the conclu- 
sion of the address Rev. Dr. Hyde pronounced the benediction. 

Mr. Rouss and party visited the fair grounds after 3 o'clock, where 
he entertained his many friends. Refreshments were served to the 
several thousand persons. The party left this evening at 8 o'clock 
for New York. 


Ladies and Gentlemen: 

The committee of arrangements has requested me in my official 
capacity as the mayor of our little but historic city to extend to you 
a formal welcome to our midst. In thus speaking in behalf of our 
whole people I must not permit myself under the impulse of any per- 


sonal feeling to forget the difference of sentiment that existed and 
does still exist among us, as to the questions that were at issue in 
that great contest of arms, out of which arose the occasion of our as- 
semblage to-day. For, while the great majority of our people es- 
poused the cause of their State and their section, there were also 
those of them who believed the cause of the Union to be the right 
side, and gave it at least the support of their opinions in obedience 
to their conscientious convictions of patriotic duty. But however 
we may differ as to this, in one thing we can all agree who are capa- 
ble in head and heart of recognizing the true meaning of this occa- 
sion. For just in proportion as we desire that "government of the 
people, by the people and for the people, may not perish off the face 
of the earth," to quote the familiar words of President Lincoln, will 
we recognize that as a stream cannot rise higher than its head, neither 
can a republic be greater in all that makes for true greatness, than the 
people who are its sovereign rulers. I do not desire to detain you 
from the special ceremonies of this occasion by any lengthy address, 
and I forbear to quote the well-known lines of Sir William Jones, 
beautiful as they are; but you will remember how they "point the 
moral" that it is not the elements of military, naval, commercial or 
material greatness that "do constitute a State," but rather and above 
all "men, high minded men." And who among us who has at heart 
the future and enduring welfare of what is now our common country 
and that of our children, but recognizes in his thoughts, his aspira- 
tions and his prayers to the Almighty Ruler of the Universe; that the 
surest hope and guarantee of that welfare lies, under God, in the pri- 
vate and public virtue of its citizens; in their possession of that "spirit 
of conscientious devotion to patriotic duty that will lead them at the 
call of their country to "pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their 
sacred honor." 

And where, friends, can we find grander examples of that "un- 
stinted devotion to duty and country," that yonder monument "to 
the unknown dead" commemorates than in the lives lived and the 
deaths died by the heroic sons of the old North State who lie in this 
cemetery, and to whose honored graves, you, gentlemen of North 
Carolina, have come in holy pilgrimage to-day? And when you call 
for witnesses to testify to their possession of these heroic virtues, 
where can you find them rather than among these people, sirs, who 
have come out to testify to this by their presence to-day and who have 
seen them plod with weary, aye, sadly often, with bare and bleeding 
feet, in the heats of summer and the frosts of winter alike, in the 
weary march up to the fiery edge of battle, have seen them bivouac 
amidst the snows of winter and always with unfaltering courage in 
face of danger or hardship, that has made "a world wonder." Ah, 
ves; where truer witnesses than these women of the Lower Shenan- 

doah Valley, fit representatives of whom honor us with their presence 
to-dav, who fed these fainting heroes on their hungry marches, and 
"ministered to their necessities" when sickness or wound, or the 
"pains of death" stretched them helpless athwart their very thresh- 
olds. Aye, the very stones of this battlefield, where their graves lie, 
would cry out against the man who would deny that no matter what 
your opinion as to the merits of the side these men took in our great 
war, no grander example than theirs was ever given of that unstinted 
devotion to duty, to country, which is to a country, however great, 
what steam is to the grandest Corliss engine that ever lay an inert, 
useless mass of metal until the spirit of steam "breathed -into its nos- 
trils the breath of life" and woke its giant power into activity. 

We are true, then, to "the duties of the present and to the hopes of 
the future," as to this Great Republic of the West, as well as to "the 
memories of the past," when we come to-day to honor these dead 
sons of North Carolina, whose lives were such splendid examples of 
devotion to patriotic duty, as they understood it. 

Welcome, then, gentlemen of North Carolina, to our midst! You 
have come on a high and holy mission, and we trust that when you 
shall have accomplished it, and return to your homes you may carry 
with you none but pleasant memories, and that when the monument, 
whose corner stone you have laid to-day, be completed that to its 
dedication you may return in greater numbers and with ceremonies 
and parade not unworthy the occasion, honor the gallant sons of 
your historic State, whose graves we have kept green in this ceme- 
tery for so many years. 


Kind Friends of the City of Winchester: 

There are with you to-day a few citizens of North Carolina who 
have made a pilgrimage to this sacred spot to unite with you in the 
performance of a very pleasant duty. 

We have come to join with you in adding one more tribute to the 
memory of our dead comrades who laid down their lives upon the 
altar of their country and died in defense of our homes. 

We have come with an orator capable and well prepared to per- 
form this task. 

Before I introduce him I beg that I, too, as a representative of our 
people, may be permitted to avail myself of this opportunity to ex- 
press to the noble, patriotic, generous and loving women of this his- 
toric old town our sincere thanks for the untiring zeal that they have 
manifested in the collection of the remains of our dead comrades, and 
in giving them decent burial in this beautiful cemetery, and for their 
constant care in the preservation and decoration of their graves. 


I now present to you the Rev. James Battle Avirett, who needs 
no introduction to this people, and who has been selected by the 
Ladies' Memorial Association of our State to address you on this 


Thirty-fifth Anniversary of the Battle of Sharpsburg — The Memo- 
rial Address of Rev. James Battle Avirett at the Lay- 
ing of the Corner Stone of the Monument to 
the North Carolina Soldiers Buried 

Survivors of the Army of Northern Virginia, Confederate Veterans, 
Ladies and Gentlemen: 
Bismarck, the great German, speaking to the world through an ad- 
dress lately made to his own people, has said that, though he stood 
confronted by the infirmities of old age, to him there was a blessed 
comfort. It was this. The great law of compensation underlying 
the equities of God's government brings to an Old man the recogni- 
tion of the fact, that, as he has largely done with the world, and the 
world has largely done with him, he is alone responsible to God both 
for what he may say and for what he may do. Keenly alive to that 
immunity from sharp and rancorous criticism of what rnay be said 
on this occasion, one may be allowed to proceed in the performance 
of that duty which has been assigned him by the kind women of 
North Carolina. One might think that here was the proper place to 
pass some words of high and courteous eulogium upon the women 
of North Carolina. But it may be said in the face of all that has trans- 
pired within the borders of that great old commonwealth that the 
women of North Carolina need no eulogium. From the early set- 
tlement of Roanoke Island, during the dark days of her colonial his- 
tory; during the revolution; pending the great trouble between the 
stepmother, England, and her daughters, the" Colonies; during the 
stirring times of 1812; during the bright hours of Democratic su- 
premacy, when the country was expanding from ocean to ocean ; 
pending the var with Mexico; and then onward as sectional strife 
began to develop, all through those darkest hours of '6i-'65; some 
men were found who were recreant to their high trust, and noble 
heritage as North Carolinians, and were willing to sell their birth right 
for a pitiful mess of pottage; but from Cherokee to Currituck, from 
the Virginia lines to the waters of the Pee Dee, no woman was ever 
found within the borders of this old commonwealth whose features 
suggested the slightest resemblance to a Rebecca Wright, an alien to 
your civilization, fair women of Virginia ; that woman who put Sher- 
idan in possession of Early's movements, dispositions and numbers, 


so as to suggest to all fair-minded men and women that she was the 
twin sister of Judas Iscariot. No, the women of North Carolina 
have always been true, and from them has sprung that noble race 
that has put the world in love with the finest touches of civil and re- 
ligious liberty. They have commissioned me to-day to speak in 
their behalf, and the only regret that I have is that I bring not to 
the discharge of this high commission the commanding eloquence of 
a Francis Hawkes, or the persuasive oratory of a Henry Watkins 
Miller. But I should be unjust to the memory of my father and 
mother, or my only brother who yielded up his life in front of Atlanta 
as well as of the sweetest recollections of that sainted sister who 
vielded up her young life from wounds in the lungs contracted in 
over-watching and over-work in the wards of the Confederate Hos- 
pital at Goldsboro, were I to allow my sense of insufficiency, my inad- 
equacy to the full performance of the duties assigned me, to cause 
me to falter one moment in the pathway of duty which woman has 
assigned me. 

It may be pardoned me, if just here before entering upon the dis- 
cussion of the great question which will occupy the web and the woof 
of this address, I pause sufficiently long to barely intimate to the 
women of the Southland the debt of gratitude which they owe to the 
fair women of the Shenandoah Valley, and notably so to the dwellers 
in this old war-worn town of Winchester, Virginia, changing hands 
87 times during the war, as, from the spring days of 186 1 through- 
out the entire struggle, they did their full duty in nerving the arm 
and strengthening the hearts of that noble band of men arrayed in 
gray, who followed the lead of Joseph E. Johnson, Ashby, Stonewall 
Jackson and Robert E. Lee. It may not be known to the world, nor 
can it be known the one tithe of all those blessed women did in the 
hospital, in the closet on bended knee, on the battle-field, Miss Rus- 
sell,* out watching the silent stars in ministering to the Confederate 
wounded, but this consolation remains, as long as the Blue Ridge, 
whose peaks are now enveloped with the morning mists, as many a 
time they have been wrapped up in smoke of battle, occupies the 
place assigned it by Almighty God, the names of Mrs. Philip Will- 
iams, Mrs. Andrew Hunter Boyd, Mrs. Robert Y. Conrad, Miss 
Kurtz, the Richardsons, the Russells, the Jenkins, the Glaizes, the 
Mesmers, Aunt Nancy Niswaner and Mrs. Spence, and many others 
who were associated with those already mentioned, will never be 
forgotten by the citizen soldiery of the South. They nobly planned 
and faithfully executed the high commission from God, which led 

*Miss Matilda Russell, of Winchester, being told by a Federal surgeon, that if 
Lt. R., of Baltimore, a young Confederate, wounded in the Ramseur-Averill en- 
gagement, three miles north of Winchester, could be kept in position in which he 
could sleep, there were chances of his recovery, spent the entire night on the bat- 
tlefield holding the head of that officer. He did sleep and did recover. Miss Rus- 
sell's fair fame and high devotion will never sleep. 


them in their labor of love to develop this beautiful bivouac of the 
dead, this blessed mother of all the Southern cemeteries, fitly named 
and worthily wearing 1 that name, Stonewall Cemetery. Ah, how 
these women toiled, how they prayed, how they begged, walking 
among the ashes of Southern glory and Southern wealth, as long 
weary months elapsed before they were able to complete in all its 
admirable appointments this beautiful City of the Dead. They fin- 
ished the work. All through this lovely valley, all through Piedmont, 
Va.,the signal was given, and perhaps the largest civil gathering ever 
known in this valley witnessed the consecration of these grounds to 
the high and holy purpose of the memory of our dead. It was then 
that the war-worn veteran, the late Brigadier General Henry A. 
Wise, ex-Governor of this commonwealth, in closing his oration gave 
utterance to that magnificent climax: "Lost Cause! Lost Cause!! 
Lost Cause!!! If lost, 'twas false — if true, it is not lost!" when ten 
thousand voices were heard cheering the veteran, as he stepped from 
the stage, though bent with age, and went his rounds to the honored 
grave, a fine type of that fine character, perhaps in some sense the 
finest product of our Anglo-Saxon civilization, a noble Virginia 
gentleman. The daughters of these women above mentioned and 
their kindred — notably so Miss Lucy Williams and others — have 
kept up their full allegiance to those who sleep the sleep of the just 
in Mt. Hebron, when on each recurring sixth of June they lay their 
banks of beautiful flowers on every mound in Stonewall Cemetery, 
as though with the aroma of flowers they would do homage to the 
guardian angels who keep watch and ward over their country's no- 
ble dead in the camping grounds of the Great Beyond. The women 
of North Carolina charge me to-day, noble women of the Shenandoah 
Valley, to say that as they were in sympathy with you when Sheridan's 
hosts ranged this valley, pillaging and burning, so will they never for- 
get your great tenderness and womanly devotion, which prompted 
you, as fast as one set of wooden head boards would rot away, to re- 
place them with others carefully marked with the name and companv 
of each silent sleeper of North Carolina's dead. The noble women 
of my native State wish me to say to you, fair women of the Shen- 
andoah Valley, that you have been true to the high commission of the 
three Marys at the sepulchred garden, when (though it be said rev- 
erently on a lower plane) you have strengthened the living by fidelity 
to the dead — you have discharged one of the noblest duties of life in 
giving tender assurance to the dwellers in all the fair valleys of North 
Carolina that the women of Virginia were keeping their holy vigil 
over the ashes of our dead. We know, fair countrywomen, that our 
dead are safe in your hands, and one of my high duties to-day, per- 
haps the sweetest and the tenderest, is formally to transfer to your 
guardianship the 497 silent forms of North Carolina's citizen sol- 


diery which sleep in this lot. I am charged by the women of North 
Carolina to say to you that they are grateful to you for that sweet 
courtesy of yours which accorded to North Carolina the lot of honor, 
the plot of sacred ground which lies to your right as you enter un- 
der the archway of Stonewall Cemetery. It is simply a pre-eminence 
which your courtesy has accorded us, not because of any difference 
in the value of the sacred dust which lies in each of these State lots, 
but simply because of the greater number of our dead. Surely the 
silent forces of woman's most beautiful courtesy and love emulate, 
if they do not surpass even the cunning deftness of Nature in the dis- 
tillation of the dew drop, and the beautiful inter-mingling of rich col- 
orings with which our old mother Nature illumines your sunsets and 
kindles her glories at the opening of morning. And now that we 
have been able after a long lapse of time amid our poverty and the 
blighting upas tree of Holdenism, Brownlowism, Carpetbagism, 
and Reconstruction on our State, from which the manhood of North 
Carolina has slowly emerged, to place living stones at each and 
every one of these graves, we here to-day, in the name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, our fathers' God, commit 
them to your loving care and tender guardianship. Guard them 
well. This I know you will do as long as the healthful correlation 
between the two sexes exists, between a patriotic manhood and a 
faithful womanhood, all over our Sunny Southland. 

And now to you, sir, Comrade Rouss, cradled in Maryland, nur- 
tured and developed in Virginia, underbuying and underselling with 
wonderful success in New York, the fair women of my old State bid 
me say that with grateful hearts our portion of the Southland, and we 
believe the whole, from the Susquehanna to the Rio Grande, will 
cherish the memory of your noble benefactions with which, you have 
sought to tenderly drive away the wolf of want from the doorway of a 
thousand Southern homes. You, sir, have given bread to the living, 
and have fitly sepulchred our dead. You have surrounded this, God's 
acre in your munificence, with a beautiful iron fence which will defy 
the tooth of time. You have caused water to spring up in this, valley 
with its refreshment for the living and comfort for the sick and dying. 
You have fortified the inhabitants of this old town of Winchester 
against the fire fiend by day and night, and, in your annual gifts to the 
Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Fair you have taught the farmers of 
this beautiful section to sow in hope that they might reap in joy. Nay, 
more, sir, you have not forgotten Virginia's great shrine of learning, 
for in the dark hour of her Universty's loss from fire, with a son's 
high pride and joy, you have poured your treasure in her lap. You 
have gone still further in your far-reaching tenderness for the South. 
You have expressed your willingness, nay, your fond desire, to meet 
the whole Southland more than half way in building upon a magnifi- 


cent plan and scale, a great Battle Abbey, in which might be pre- 
served the relics, the trophies, the insignia of her splendid heroism on 
the battle field in tattered flags, bullet pierced and shredded, but ever 
glorious; upon whose walls might hang the portraiture of distin- 
guished heroism, and along whose aisles in chiseled stone might 
stand sculptured statues of Albert Sidney Johnson, Ashby, Stonewall 
Jackson, and our peerless Lee, and in whose safe depositories might 
be placed the record of the land you loved and fought for, struggling 
to be free. Nor have you stopped here, but to show how deeply you 
love the Southern soil, you have brought the remains of your noble 
boy from the great emporium of the continent and given him Chris- 
tian burial in the soil of Old Virginia. Nay more, with monumental 
stone you have marked the spot, gathering around it the ashes of 
your dead, where, after life's fitful fever is over, and your role of 
splendid benefactions shall have ceased, you, yourself, sir, a Confed- 
erate Veteran, waiting for the reveille of the Resurrection morn, hope 
to lie. The women of North Carolina, sir, have sent by me a few 
flowers to lay upon the grave of your crushed hopes where sleeps 
your son, and if only among the herbs which spring into life among 
the valleys of North Carolina they might find one whose medicinal 
properties would restore sight to your eyes, they would be gratefull} 
happy. Cherishing your benefactions in the depths of their grateful 
hearts, they bid me say to you, sir, that your mother's God has taught 
them that there are no blind in heaven. 

And now, my dear friends, will you pardon me while I proceed 
with a brief and condensed statement of the causes in part which led 
up to this strife — and detain you while I rehearse somewhat the con- 
duct of the same, closing with some suggestions as to the duty of the 
living in vindication of the memory of our dead. Necessarily must I 
advert to some of the peculiarities of the different forms of govern- 
ment which have controlled the inhabitants of this earth. You well 
know that these have been various, reflecting the temper of the times, 
and the stratum of civilization, characterizing the various epochs in 
the history of our race. Sometimes they have been pure despotisms, 
again the pendulum would swing way round in the contrary direction, 
and the world would rejoice in short lived republics. Sometimes we 
would have constitutional monarchies, and again men's petted 
crochets of popular government would come into the ascendency. 
Sometimes, as in the French Revolution, men in madness have swept 
away as with a besom of destruction, almost every vestige of liberty 
as vested in citizenship, and in their blind madness have deified rea- 
son, and expelling all the purer forms of religion, have deluged her 
altars with the blood of her best people. Sad and well-nigh tearful 
are the many wrongs which have been perpetrated on this earth in 
the name of liberty, but alas, in the great majority of cases, license 


has been founded with the wise teachings of this fair goddess. Amid 
this Babel of confusion it seems in the providence of the Great 
Ruler of all nations to have accorded to the Anglo-Saxon race the 
most successful ventures in the field of constitutional liberty. Eng- 
land, step-motherish though she has been to us, as the winner and the 
wearer, which have come to her from Magna Charta at Runnymede, 
has secured eminent privileges as she has gone on during the long 
generations past, buttressed and fortressed, in all those marked char- 
acteristics of government which constitute her the very citadel of 
constitutional liberty. But as the Babylonish, Assyrian, Grecian, Ro- 
man dynasties have all had their day, so may it be said to-day with Jie 
marked changes that have come over the government of Great Brit- 
ain from the rapid development of all the elements of democratic 
features that she has not been exempted from the changes and 
chances of all human institutions. The colonies which sprang from 
the breast of their old English mother and essayed the Herculean task 
of separate government, detached from the guardianship of England, 
made good their cause after seven years of bloody strife when at 
Yorktown in 1781, it became necessary to construct a cradle for what 
was happily believed to be a fair young republic. It will not be for- 
gotten that Great Britain in dealing with the colonies treated each 
one of them as a separate and distinct individuality, a crystallized unit, 
and on this basis peace was declared between the mother country and 
her infant children. A convention for the exact adjustment of the 
varied relations of these thirteen children, now free and independent, 
became necessary. This convention met. The ablest men in the 
whole country were present and participated in its deliberations. The 
finest talent of New England, pronouncedly the leading statesmen 
from the Middle States, by all odds the greatest men from Virginia, 
were present in Philadelphia at this august hour. Never in the his- 
tory of man have graver responsibilities been met by calmer, wiser, 
and more exhaustive deliberations. The saintly Bishop White, and 
other eminent divines invoked the blessing of Almighty God upon 
this most remarkable body of men. Day after day, and night after 
night, these noble patriots planned and counseled, and counseled and 
planned. But 3,000 miles away from all the battle fields of Europe, 
deluged with blood in man's applied experimental efforts to secure 
the greatest good to the greatest number, and this citadel liberty for- 
ever, buttressed upon the affections and confidence of a free people, 
it was not accorded our forefathers to escape the dangers of human 
government. Naturally enough, Mr. Hamilton, of New York, fresh 
from the influence of monarchial institutions upon his great and com- 
manding intellect, was fully in love with that form of government 
centripetal, which we call centralism, or a mild form of monarchial 
government. Naturally enough, Mr. Jefferson, of Virginia, and 


those who thought and co-operated with him in that they represented 
the cavalier element of our young population in the southern colo- 
nies, were equally as much enamored with the pleasing thought, 
amounting in their case to an absolute conviction, that the panacea 
of all our ills as a people, and the keystone in the arch of human lib- 
erty depended upon the recognition of the antagonistic principal of 
centrifugalism as opposing centripetalism, necessary to a preserva- 
tion, of the true harmony and healthful life in the relation of the State 
to the Federal government. 

It will be seen at a glance how antagonistic these two theories of 
human government are: to wit, the Hamiltonian theory of the exer- 
cise of controlling power by the centre along strongly guarded radii 
over all forms of popular rights lying out between the centre and the 
circumference; while the State's rights men sought to leave their im- 
press upon federal relations by emphasizing the doctrines of the sov- 
ereignity of the States.* These giants of high intellect, and we must 
say of equally beautiful devotion to their divergent views of the gov- 
ernment w-hich they were trying to form, battled with each other upon 
a high plane of intellectuality and wonderful mastery of the various 
forms of human government, which, perhaps, has never been equalled 
in the history of men. Battling on and battling on, each for the ac- 
ceptance of his own views, these distinguished civil schoolmen were 
at last driven to the conclusion that neither party to this great con- 
test could fully succeed. So it came about that in the very nature of 
things, from the necessity of conditions and environments, the con- 
stitution was a compromise. It can be safely asserted here that all 
compromises, when subjected to the severe tests of absolute analysis 
must necessarily be from the very nature of things sooner or later 
clearly demonstrated failures. This is so, for a compromise has al- 
ways been and will ever be the dangerous undertaking of adjusting 
upon a safe basis principles that are directly antipodal and antagon- 
istic. Water has never yet been mixed with oil, nor will centralized 
government ever be able to adjust itself to> the honest recognition of 
popular rights. Hence it is perfectly clear, and it must necessarily 
appear that we have never lived under a pure republic. The word 

♦Extract from Henry Cabot Lodge's " Life of Webster," at pages 176-177, 
concerning Webster's "Reply to Hayne" on the Foote resolution: " The weak 
places in his armor were historical in their nature. It was probably necessary, 
at all events Mr. Webster felt it to be so, to argue that the constitution at the 
outset was not a compact between the States, but a national instrument, and to 
distinguish the cases of Virginia and Kentucky in 1799 and of New England in 
1814 from that of South Carolina in 1830. The former point he touched upon 
lightly, the latter he discussed ably, eloquently, ingeniously, and at length. Un- 
fortunately the facts were against him in both instances. When the constitution 
was adopted by the votes of States at Philadelphia and accepted by the votes of 
States in popular conventions, it is safe to say that there was not a man in the 
country, from Washington and Hamilton on the one side to George Clinton and 
George Mason on the other, who regarded the new system as anything but an 
experiment entered upon by the States, and from which each and every State 
had the right peaceably to withdraw, a right which was very likely to be exer- 
* / cis ed. When the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions appeared they were not 
f/tJ'tt offurufl on constitutional grounds, but on those of expediency and of hostility to 
the resolution which they were considered to embody." 


republic, as imported by its etymology clearly means all things as to 
rights under the government, all duties and privileges for the govern- 
ment in common. Res, publica, the old Roman wrote, all things 
common, all things for the people, by the people and all power from 
the people. Now this has never been, nor will it ever be realized. 
None of us have ever voted directly for a Judge of the Supreme Court 
of the United States. He is appointed for life by the Executive. 
No one of us has ever voted for a member of the United States Sen- 
ate. He is elected by the legislature of the State claiming him. No 
one of us has ever voted directly for a president of the United States. 
He is elected by the electoral college; they failing to elect, by the 
House of Representatives. Thus you see, clearly and indisputably 
that at no period of American history has any freeman ever been 
trusted with the full discharge of an uninterrupted ballot except in the 
House of Representatives. It is equally clear that in two of the co- 
ordinate branches of the government, to wit, the executive and the 
judicial, Mr. Hamilton forced Mr. Jefferson to the employment of 
an intermediary process, destructive of the most healthful form of the 
ballot, and necessarily nurturing and developing centralism.* In 
the other branch of the government, to wit, the election of the United 
States Senate by the State legislature, an intermediary process, and 
necessarily productive of centralism in the long run, while Mr. 
Jefferson succeeded in securing only to the people the exercise of a 
direct franchise, in the election of the members of the House of Rep- 
resentatives. It will be clearly seen with whom lay the victory when 
the bark of human liberty, freighted with the hopes of three millions 
of people, was launched upon the ocean, whose waters could never 
be smooth for any length of time. History attests the fact that the 
timbers in the good old ship of state have been strained amid the 
angry surges of many a tempest of high debates in the halls of con- 
gress. They were severely strained in 1820 at the time of the Mis- 
souri compromise, and all over this broad land at that time patriots 
were breathlessly fearful lest wreckage should ensue. Staggering 
along through the compromise of 1850, this ship, on whose deck 
stood at the time that great seer of the South, Mr. Calhoun, that won- 
der of wonders, Mr. Clay, of Kentucky, that most majestic of all men 
who have ever trod American soil; Mr. Webster of Massachusetts, 
with Mr. Benton of Missouri, and others equally devoted, if not fully 
as illustrious, finally went to pieces among the quicksands of sec- 
tionalism in i860. It will clearly be seen that this was necessarily 
so from the nature of its organism, and the dominancy of centralism 
procured by the subtile genius of Hamilton over the commanding 
intellect of Thomas Jefferson and his school. And yet in this mighty 

♦Mr. Jefferson was absent at the French Court, but It was the school which 
afterwards bore his name in American political nomenclature. 

wrestling between these two giants Mr. Jefferson secured the recog- 
nition of the doctrine of State rights, the sovereignty of the States, 
upon the pleasing yet delusive basis of a beautiful theory. The Repub- 
lican party in its contests with the Federal party, and later on the 
Democratic with the Whig, Know-Nothing and Republican parties, 
have always been able to point to the "It was written in the consti- 
tution," in vindication of their doctrine of State sovereignty. Yet 
the skilful, intellectual acrobat, Mr. Hamilton, the Machiavellian mas- 
ter of statescraft, in the application of these principles claimed by 
Mr. Jefferson, haltered, hampered, and controlled by the mode in 
which the ballot was exercised, and always came out of the contest, 
if not in his lifetime, in that of his followers, more than successful. 
The election of Mr. Lincoln in i860, the first triumph of a sectional 
candidate for the presidency, has been mistaken by many as the 
cause of the war. Slavery in that campaign, in which it was the 
shibboleth, was not the cause of the rupture of the States, and the 
dismemberment of the republic. It was simply the occasion, and 
was the medium only through which centralism asserted its antagon- 
ism to State sovereignty. It may be asked then why did this rupture 
not occur earlier in the history of the country as threatened in 1820 
and in 1850. The easy answer is close at hand, and will suggest it- 
self at once to any mind enriched by the philosophies of history. The 
Northern people, almost entirely commercial, never knew the blessing 
at any time in the history which presented itself to the Southern peo- 
ple in their exemption from the antagonism between capital and la- 
bor. For a long, long time the South was exempt from the curse which 
attaches to this irrepressible conflict between these two mighty giants, 
because our capital was our labor, and our labor was our capital, 
and it was during that blessed repose that the conservatism of an un- 
fettered unified South was brought to bear upon these two constitu- 
tional organic antagonisms, which threatened from time to time the 
dissolution of the union. When it was swept away it was like cut- 
ting the dike which surrounds Holland! The angry waters of the 
North sea swept over her fair borders. The South recognized the 
fact that in the carrying trade of negroes from the coasts of Africa 
to the United States, the trans-Susquehanna people had added largely 
to the wealth which had come to them in changing West India mo- 
lasses into New England rum. They knew the fact, and know it to- 
day, that, when climate and soil at the North had declared against 
the profitableness of African slavery at the North, in the closing years 
of the last, and in the early decades of the present centuries, with the 
same God and with the same Bible instead of liberating, they sold out 
their colored slaves to the people of the South and then turned to the 
shadow of Bunker Hill monument and posed as philanthropists and 
moralists. Hence it was that when Mr. Lincoln issued his coercion 


proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand troops to coerce the 
sovereign States and whip us back into abject submission to central- 
ized federalism (the Hamilton theory of the government) Southern 
State after Southern State, clothed upon with all the powers of or- 
ganic law, under the constitution, one by one resumed their former 
status occupied t>y them before the compact had been entered into, 
under the plain principal in law and equity that a contract void in 
part is void in whole. North Carolina, whose people had been di- 
vided somewhat, on the 20th of May, 1861, the anniverssty of the 
declaration of the Mecklenburg Independence, slowly, sternly, si- 
lently, and with tears in her eyes, called her children around her and 
started for the field of battle. It would not be germane to this occa- 
sion to enter into any details of this terrible struggle. Suffice it is to 
say, that with their two million and a half of men called out to battle 
on the part of the North, six hundred thousand Southern troops en- 
gaged them so heroically from Big Bethel to Appomattox as to put 
the whole world in admiration of the splendor of our heroism and 
our devotion to the cause. Mistakes there were, and honest ones 
too, upon the mind of some of the European governments, touching 
the cause which led up to this fearful struggle. Upon the part of 
England, however, it may be asserted with marked emphasis, that 
she clearly understood the situation and had ever been, and is to-day 
a Jesuitical fomenter of the strife between the different sections of 
this country. Great Britain has ever been the foe, and is to-day the 
bitter enemy of every form of republican institutional government. 
She tried to strangle us in our cradle with more than a stepmother's 
intense hate. Sihe tried to crush us in 1812 by driving our shipping 
from the seas, and then she went to work when she had fattened upon 
slavery herself, and drugged the whole world with her opium trade 
with well-nigh diabolic method, with her headquarters at Exeter 
Hall in London, to deepen sectional hate between the North and the 
South. To-day, like a great anaconda, she is swallowing up with her 
immense gold power both the banking systems of our country, and 
our transportation as well. It would be ungraceful and ungrateful 
to indulge in any comment upon mistakes made by the government 
at Richmond in failing to get all of our cotton out of the Southern 
borders, and banking upon it in European markets when landed at 
Bermuda before the blockade was enforced and made effective. It 
would be equally unfair and unkind to comment upon the mistakes 
made within the first few months of the war in not making impreg- 
nable the mouth of the Mississippi, and that of the Cumberland 
River and the Tennessee, where the last two empty into the great 
"father of waters." It is perfectly clear that the failure to do this 
forced the first great battle of the midland, south of Kentucky, 


and lost us that State, out of Tennessee and lost us that State, in to 
Mississippi. Elsewhere, north of Shiloh, General Sidney Johnson 
would have been flanked out of position by the Federal 
gun-boats on those rivers. It is perfectly clear to every can- 
did mind that while mistakes were made, and telling mistakes at 
that, if not well nigh fatal, yet that noble patriot Jefferson 
Davis did all he could with the lights before him to maintain his 
country's cause. It was very evident from the early days of the 
struggle that Virginia would be the great battlefield. Richmond, 
from first to last, was the key point, and the keystone of the Southern 
Confederacy. If the armies of the South could not hold this great 
citadel, it was obvious that we could make no successful stand any- 
where. General McClellan in his very remarkable book has verycleary 
established the fact that, had he been other than a Democrat, when he 
was beleaguering Richmond with his mighty host, had he been re- 
inforced as he begged General Halleck and Mr. Stanton,* Secretary 
of War, to reinforce him with General McDowell's sixty thousand 
troops, idle in front of Washington, and had the authorities at Wash- 
ington allowed him to have thrown that large army upon General 
Lee's left flank, fully occupied with McClellan as he was, McClellan 
would have cut General Lee's lines of transportation on the Virginia 
Central R. R., the James River canal and the South Side R. R. Some 
may say sneeringly that this never could have been done at that time. 
In answer to this, it may be alleged that Stonewall Jackson's valley 
campaign was made to avert this anticipated movement. A des- 
perate attack upon General Lee's left by McDowell's 60,000 men 
would have called General Jackson hurriedly from the valley, while 
so small was his force, 17,000, and so large was that of Genera Mc- 
Dowell's, 60,000, that the issue at arms could not have been doubt- 
ful. General Lee, at all times the master of General McClellan in 
tactics and maneuvre, and in all the fine elements of generalship, 
himself unconscious of the fact in his high devotion to duty as he was 
incapacitated from his splendid organism to understand the desper- 
ate, diabolic policy at headquarters in Washington in its unwilling- 
ness to stop the war then and there because of two conditions not yet 
reached. First, there was a Democrat in command of the Army of 
the Potomac, and the commander of that army at the close of the war 
was ex necessitate logically the next president of the United States. 
Sumner, Steward and Stanton had determined that this should not 
be. Secondly, the proclamation of emancipation had not been issued 
Slavery had not been abolished. Now, if this reasoning be correct, 

*" A spy under Buchanan, a tyrant under Lincoln and a traitor to Johnson, this 
man was as cruel and crafty as Domitian. I never saw him. In the end, con- 
science, long dormant, came as Alecto, and he was not; and the temple of Jus- 
tice, on whose threshold he stood, escaped profanation."— Gen. Taylor's " De- 
struction and Reconstruction," page 241. 


and the further suggestion be true that because of the Anglo-Saxon 
elements in the Southern armies after the fall of Richmond, there 
could be no guerilla warfare following. Men of Latin blood, Span- 
iards, French, Italians, are addicted to the pitiable vice of guerillaing. 
Men of Anglo-Saxon blood never guerilla. Thus it follows that the 
fall of Richmond would have ended the war in '62. If this be true, 
what an ocean of blood, what fearful waste of precious treasure, what 
tears of widowhood, what fearful blight of orphanage, what fearful 
orgies of well-nigh hellish abandon to rapine and murder, what fear- 
ful responsibility must be at the bar of God, upon the conscience of 
Stanton, Steward, Sumner, who led the more amiable, the more patri- 
otic Lincoln by the nose. The seven days' fight around Richmond 
drove McClellan from astraddle the Chicahominy back beyond Mal- 
vern Hills to the cover of his gun-boats on the James River. The 
second battle of Manassas, at which Stonewall Jackson rose to the 
height of a superb commander under General Lee, was but a step- 
ping stone to the invasion of Maryland. The battle of Sharpsburg 
on the 17th of September, 1862, the 35th anniversary of which has 
called us together to-day, was the great struggle of that campaign. 
General Lee crossed into Maryland and made his way direct to Fred- 
erick City, ignoring the existence of the 12,000 troops at Harper's 
Ferry, in sufficient proximity to threaten his communications through 
the Shenandoah Valley. He naturally thought that this garrison 
would be immediately removed and ordered to join General Mc- 
Clellan. The Federal commander having ordered the evacuation of 
Harper's Ferry, moved slowly and cautiously up the right bank of 
the Potomac River, heading towards Frederick City. General Hal- 
leck, at all time, and under all circumstances, the enemy of General 
McClellan, ordered the Federal troops at Harper's Ferry and Martins- 
burg to retain their positions. It was to reduce these two posts by 
capture that General Lee, at Frederick City, made his dispositions, 
sending General McLaws along the mountain ridge which culmi- 
nates on Maryland Heights, sending General Walker across the Po- 
tomac to reach the Loudoun Heights in Virginia, at the same time 
sending General Stonewall Jackson across the Potomac to Williams- 
port by a circuitous route of more than sixty miles to reduce Har- 
per's Ferry by a movement in its rear. Meantime, Generals Longstreet 
and D. H. Hill were ordered to cross the mountains and remain at 
Boonesboro pending the capitulation of Harper's Ferry. Unfortunate- 
ly, the order to some one of the Confederate generals setting forth this 
plan of General Lee's was lost at Frederick City. General McClel- 
lan hurried on after General Lee with the measured pace of a man in 
the dark as to what his adversary's plans were until ihe reached Fred- 
erick City. Here promptly, put in possession of General Lee's plans 
through the lost dispatch, he pushed on with great vigor to attack 


with his whole army the divisions of the Confederate commander. 
To delay General McClellan so as to give General Jackson time to 
reach Harper's Ferry, brilliant and stubborn resistance was made to 
the approach of General McClellan, both at Boonsboro Gap and 
Crampton's Gap as well. These preliminary engagements, while 
bloody, stubborn and brilliant, costing the South some of her noblest 
defenders, were successful in that they detained General McClellan 
long enough to enable General Lee to call around him a sufficient 
number of his faithful followers from Harper's Ferry to make a stand 
at Sharpsburg. General Jackson, to whom Harper's Ferry sur- 
rendered with its 12,000 trooops, 13,000 stands of arms, 70 pieces of 
artillery, and a large number of very valuable stores, ordering Gen- 
eral A. P. Hill to attend to the paroling of the prisoners, gave orders 
to Generals McLaws and Walker to follow him as rapidly as possible 
and join him at Sharpsburg, which place General Jackson reached 
on the evening of the 15th. The little village of Sharpsburg lies about 
a mile from the west bank of the Antietam creek, and is the centre 
of six roads coming in at this point from as many directions. One road 
from Harper's Ferry, seventeen miles away, entered this little ham- 
let on the south side; another from Boonsboro on the east; another 
from Hagerstown from the north; another from Shepherdstown on 
the Potomac, southwest; another from Pleasant Valley on the south- 
east. To one standing in the centre of this hamlet, composed largely of 
the homes of thrifty Dutch farmers, the Antietam is before him at a 
distance of about a mile, while behind him, in horseshoe shape, at an 
average distance of about three miles lies the Potomac River. Gen- 
eral Lee's disposition of his troops was as follows: The right centre 
to the right of the Boonsboro road was assigned to General Long- 
street.* The left centre to General D. H. Hill, on the left of the 
same road. Next on the left reaching towards the Hagerstown 
pike were Hood's Brigades; next to the left came the Stonewall di- 
vision, and that of General Ewell reaching across the Hagerstown 
road, while General Lee's extreme left was commanded by horse ar- 
tillery under General Stuart, whose batteries were protected by two 
small brigades of infantry. The extreme right of the Confederate army 
was assigned to General Walker, and some Georgia troops. The An- 
tietam creek, flowing obliquely towards the Potomac, is spanned 

*" A recent article in the public press, signed by Gen. Longstreet, ascribes the 
failure of Gettysburg to Lee's mistakes, which he (Longstreet) in vain pointed 
out and remonstrated against. That any subject involving the possession and 
exercise of intellect should be clear to Longstreet and concealed from Lee Is a 
startling proposition to any one having knowledge of the two men. We have 
biblical authority for the story that the angel in the path was visible to the ass, 
though unseen by the seer, his master; but suppose, instead of smiting the hon- 
est, stupid animal, Balaam had caressed him and then been kicked by him, how 
would the story read?"— Gen. Dick Taylor's book, page 231. This is the penalty 
that personal consciousness vapidly and arrogantly carried about on tap, has 
been made to pay for the hireling mendacity in kicking the Lion of our cause 
after his death at Lexington, Va. The mills of the gods grind slowly but very 
fine, even the rotten old corn of Georgia. 


wherever the public roads cross it by stone bridges. The hills on the 
east side of this creek were crowned with General McClellan's re- 
serve artillery. The disposition of his powerful army, numbering 
between 90,000 and 100,000 troops, was so made as to put General 
Burnside with the 9th corps on McClellan's extreme left, whose 
whole army lay stretched away towards his extreme right with Gen- 
eral Hooker in command of his right wing. General McClellan's 
plan of battle was to open up a heavy artillery fire from the com- 
manding positions east of the Antietam Creek, all along this whole 
line and under the cover to pass General Hooker's corps by a cir- 
cuitous route across the creek higher up, and seek to turn General 
Lee's left flank. On the afternoon of the 16th General Hooker had 
effected the passage without opposition with his own corps and those 
of Mansfield and General Sumner. The fighting, beginning late in 
the afternoon, was between a portion of this force and the Confed- 
erate troops under the command of General Hood. The engage- 
ments, while bloody and stubborn, were in no wise decisive. Early 
on the morning of the 17th of September not later than sunrise, 
thirty-five years ago this day, under the cover of furious cannonad- 
ing all along the line, General Hooker sought to execute the danger- 
ous task of turning General Lee's left flank, and then striking his 
line in reverse, to sweep down parallel to the Antietam. In order to 
enable him to do this General McClellan had furnished him with 
nearly 50,000 troops, but there was a lion in his path and that lion 
was Stonewall Jackson, who hurled against him the remnants of his 
noble old divisions, comprising, as Mr. Swinton informs us, not more 
than 4,000 troops, and some 7,500 others. Such was the valor and 
impetuosity of General Jackson's men that before 7 o'clock Hook- 
er's own corps was broken and beaten. Mansfield's corps next came 
into line, when General Lee strengthened his own line by calling in 
General Hood and General Early, when the Federal line was again 
pressed back, while its noble leader, Mansfield, yielded up his life. 
General Sumner's corps was next ordered in, with numbers so great 
as to involve General Lee's centre. Here the fighting became ter- 
rible, and the tide of battle ebbed and flowed. First the blue surg- 
ing forward, then the gray line pressing them back. Happily at this 
juncture General Lee called troops from his extreme right under 
McLaws and Anderson, and the struggle for victory around the old 
Dunkard church became terrific, until finally such was the high 
courage of all the Confederate troops, and such the high mettle of the 
North Carolina men that had been led over to the right to reinforce 
General Lee's left centre and extreme left wing, that the Federal line 
was pressed back to the position it occupied early in the morning. 
Pending all this heavy fighting on General Lee's left flank, both 
Generals D. H. Hill and Longstreet on both sides of the Boonsboro 


road had been warmly but not as hotly engaged as were those so 
fiercely assaulted on General Lee's left by the three corps already men- 
tioned. One must not think for one moment that General McClel- 
lan's management of this fearful strife was so faulty as to leave his 
own left unemployed. He did give orders to General Burnside to 
cannonade General Lee's right with extreme fury, and to make an 
assault upon the bridge immediately in his front. General Burnside, 
for some reason which the careful study of neither the pages of Swin- 
ton, Dabney, nor any of the great writers upon this battle, discloses, 
failed to make the attack until about two in the afternoon, long after 
the contest on the right had been decided. Then he stormed the 
bridge and carried it, driving away from his front all the troops that 
had been placed by General Lee to protect the Shepherdstown road, 
which was in truth General Lee's line of communication with Vir- 
ginia. At this juncture, most fortunately for us, General A. P. Hill, 
having finished the work assigned to him at Harper's Ferry, came 
on the field with his splendid light divison, composed largely of 
North Carolina troops. These men had just finished a march of 
seventeen miles from Harper's Ferry and were leg weary, but such 
was their courage, and so admirable were General Hill's dispositions, 
that while the Confederate line on the right was fearfully tangled, and 
the Shepherdstown pike almost in possession of Burnside's corps, in 
less than one hour and a half the confederate lines were restored, and 
Burnside was taught a lesson of value. But this terrific fighting 
with its high success cost us dearly. From that hour until the pres- 
ent, many a North Carolina home has been draped in mourning be- 
cause of the fallen sons of this noble commonwealth. Among the 
many slain from this State, two there were of whom we may speak- 
in highest praise without the slightest suggestion of invidious com- 
parison. Generals Anderson and Branch were men of such heroic 
mould, were so devoted to their country's highest good, and ren- 
dered the country such noble service as to weave around their brows, 
cold in death, chaplets of the brightest immortelles, and it was in the 
loss of just such men as these on this and other battle fields that their 
old mother was stabbed so deeply in her heart of hearts. General 
McClellan, commenting upon this battle, observed that the Confeder- 
ate line was very short. It was short, because General Lee had not 
the men to make it longer. It was short, because, with only 33,000 
men, General Lee was obliged to compress his lines so as to make 
resistance against the larger number of troops with which General 
McClellan sought to force him from the field. But this he could not 
do, for the Confederate line at night on the 17th was identically the 
same with which General Lee began his struggle at sunrise that 
morning, except that it was slightly depressed at the centre, and this 
General Lee seemed to have anticipated because if one studies care- 


fully the conformation of the ground, and the exact adjustments of 
the whole line of battle, it will be seen that the Confederate line was 
an obtuse angle, with the apex of the angle at the centre. It has 
been regarded by military critics as one of the finest illustrations of 
General Lee's high mastery of the science of war, for it can be safely 
affirmed that if General McClellan's attack upon General Lee found 
him with his troops scattered, and far away in the reduction of Har- 
per's Ferry, and still General Lee held his own, waiting the whole 
of next day, the 18th of September for General McClellan to renew his 
attack what would have been the result had not that order setting 
forth General Lee's plan not been lost at Frederick City. There 
have been made several estimates of the number of muskets em- 
ployed by General Lee on this battlefield. The great Virginian 
modestly places the number at a figure under 40,000, others again 
say that there could not have been over 33,000. A distinguished 
Confederate officer who won laurels on that battlefield, ex-United 
States Senator Ransom, who I think was a general of brigade on the 
occasion, in a recent conversation said to me that after the closest 
and most careful calculation, there were only about 27,500 muskets 
employed that day by the Confederates. Now, if this be so, the ques- 
tion will come up, why was it so? Let General Lee speak for himself. 
In his report of the Maryland campaign, volume 2, page 119, our 
great captain says: "The arduous service in which our troops had 
been engaged, their great privation of rest and food, and the long 
marches without shoes over the mountain roads had greatly reduced 
our ranks before the action began. These causes had compelled 
thousands of brave men to absent themselves. This great battle was 
fought by less than 40,000 men on our side." (Official report, page 
35) says General D. H. Hill: "Had all our stragglers .been up, Mc- 
Clellan's army would have been completely crushed or annihilated." 
It may be pardoned me if I advert to scenes I have witnessed myself 
along the line of march from Gordonsville by way of Cedar Moun- 
tain; at second Manassas by Thoroughfare Gap; by way of Oxen 
Hill through Leesburg, Frederick City, Williamsport, Martins- 
burg, Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg. The men who were on this long 
line of march were fresh from the seven days' fights around Rich- 
mond. Some of them had marched from Staunton to Hall Town be- 
low Charlestown, taking their parts in the battles in Winchester, 
Fort Royal, Cross Keys and Port Republic, where, under Ashby and 
Jackson, with that fine old field marshall Ewell, the story of Confed- 
erate valor had been placed in the mouths of two continents. Strag- 
gler! Men absent from duty! Miscalled laggards on the march! 
Sluggards in the storm ! Of course there were men out of line that 
day. Nature has her laws, and has affixed her own limits to human 
endurance. Again and again on the march which brought General 

Lee's army to Sharpsburg, have I seen men after men drop out of 
line from sheer fatigue and the limit of human endurance reached. 
I recall one scene expressly — that of an old Georgian belonging to 
Lawton's brigade, sitting on a rock with his feet in a stream of water, 
and staunching the blood with green leaves bound to the cuts kept 
in place by rags in lieu of socks and shoes. I shall never forget that 
honest face, as, with the light of duty in his eyes, he swung on his 
haversack, and grasping his musket trudged on in pain after Lee. 
This allusion to the conditions of the march will explain to any can- 
did mind the presence of the short, thin line of Confederates on the 
battlefield of Sharpsburg 35 years ago to-day. We have said that 
12,000 men were captured at Harper's Ferry with 13,000 stands of 
arms, 70 pieces of artillery and valuable stores. This was a part of 
the rich fruitage of this campaign. The Federal losses have been put 
down for Boonsboro, Crampton's Gap and Sharpsburg at 15,200 by 
McClellan himself, while the most careful estimates which I have 
been able to employ, place the Confederate loss in these several en- 
gagements at 10,300, and one will quite understand the desperation 
with which the Confederates fought when the medical authorities of 
the Federal government show an increase of 30,000 patients as con- 
sequent upon the operations of this short campaign. As a quick 
sequel to this glorious engagement, there is something else to be 
said, General Lee crossed the Potomac into Virginia on the 19th of 
September by way of Shepherdstown. General McClellan, pressed by 
the Federal government to render some effective service with the 
large number of men he had at his command, threw Gen. Fitz John 
Porter's corps across the Potomac under the cover of heavy artillery 
on the Maryland side. This heavy Federal attachment made a 
serious move upon General Lee's reserved artillery in command of 
Brigadier General Pendleton, chief of artillery. A counter move- 
ment was instituted by General Jackson, which was intrusted di- 
rectly to General A. P. Hill, who drove the enemy with such vio- 
lence and impetuosity across the river at the point of the bayonet, 
hurling their adversaries by the hundreds into the water that only a 
few of the Federals reached the northern bank. It was a pitiable 
spectacle that of 3,000 Federal troops killed and drowned with 200 
prisoners, and one large brigade nearly extinguished by the disas- 
ter. This was the penalty which McClellan had to pay for his men- 
dacity in claiming a victory at Sharpsburg. Here it may be as- 
serted without any fear of contradiction, without the slightest sug- 
gestion of invidious comparison, that when the old Stonewall brig- 
ade, and Hood's noble brigades of Texas, and those noble sons of 
Georgia under Lawton, in fine where all responded so nobly to the 
test applied by General Lee (for it was General Lee's confidence in 
his men, and not the necessities of the situation, which caused the 


battle of Sharpsburg North Carolinians have cause to this day to 
be proud of the record which the heroism of her sons made with 
their blood on that illustrious day, and there is no wonder that while 
the 17th of September will ever .be a day of sadness to thousands of 
our people, yet must it be ever a day when that sadness is tempered 
by the consciousness of the glory of her noble sons. It is very for- 
eign to the purpose of this address to carry you through the cam- 
paign of the Rappahannock, with its great battle of Fredericksburg, 
nor shall I detain you while I rehearse any part of the Chancellors- 
ville campaign during the months of April and May, 1863, where, at 
Chancellorsville, the great giant of military genius fell off the edge 
of battle, where Stonewall Jackson crossed over the river and rested 
under the trees, having lit up the way in all the battles from first 
Manassas by his devotion as a Christian, the splendor of his heroism, 
and his (matchless genius as one of the great captains of the 19th 
century, aye, in any age. I shall not detain you by referring you 
to that with which you are so familiar, the Gettysburg campaign in 
June and July, '63, longer than barely to intimate the fact that if this 
great battle of Gettysburg was decisive of the war, the splendor of its 
heroism, the purifying powers of its great suffering, the full con- 
sciousness in spite of factious critcism that every man did his best, 
that these were in part preparatory for the grandest of all the cam- 
paigns, Grant's overland campaign, May and June, 1864. It was 
in that campaign of maneuvres between General Lee and Meade, 
from July, 1863, to March, 1864, that we may see how fully General 
Lee overmatched General Meade. Military critics have said, and* 
some of them so void of prejudice, and so full of high capability as 
to entitle their opinions to full notice, that the most remarkable of 
all military movements in the 19th century was that beginning May 
the 4th, 1864, in which, with 52,626 men, foot, horse and artillery, 
General Lee baffled and beat back General Grant with his four great 
army corps, giving him a moveable column of about 140,000 men of 
all arms. Gladly, though sadly, had I the time would I light up 
your thoughts with the splendor of the Army of Northern Virginia 
at the battle of the Wilderness along the lines at Spottsylvania Court 
House and from Spottsylvania to the Chicahominy, where I would 
detain you at the battle of Cold Harbor,* where General Lee reached 
the apex of his fame, from which he has never been forced to come, 
although the shadows of the siege of Petersburg and those even 
darker events culminating at Appomattox Court House announced 
the facts that the circle of the hunt was made, and the great lion- 

*" Now so gloomy was the military outlook after the action on the Chickahom- 
iny, and to such a degree by consequence had the moral spring of the public mind 
become relaxed, that there was at this time great danger of a collapse of the 
war. The history of this conflict will show this."— Swinton, page 495. 


hearted Lee was brought to bay.* Sadly and tenderly was the Con- 
federate banner furled, and as an organized body the Army of the 
Northern Virginia stepped out of existence among the martial hosts 
of this earth, but stepping into history stepped heavenward. And 
thus on the 9th of April, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Vir- 
ginia, having done its duty nobly, expired the most remarkable or- 
ganization of armed men the world has ever known. For four long 
years the upper millstone of the Army of the Potomac of 17 inches 
thickness had been whirring around, lubricated by the oil of sym- 
pathy and the active support of the whole outside world — while the 
under stone of the Army of Northern Virginia, 10 inches in thick- 
ness, imbedded in the affections of the Southern people carrying 
their noble cause of constitutionally recognized State sovereignty 
and other forms of constitutional liberty on the points of their bright 
bavonets, was worn thinner and thinner, till at last, no thicker than 
a wafer, General Lee surrendered as the body guard of liberty 8,000 
men with muskets to an army of over 125,000. Caesar had his tenth 
legion, Philip, the Macedonian phalanx, Alexander his picked 
troops in conquering the world, Hannibal his corps invincible on the 
battlefield of Cannae, Wellington his life guards at Waterloo, and 
Napoleon had his Imperial guards under the matchless Ney, but the 
Army of Northern Virginia, with its roll of victories, at first and 
second Manassas, seven days around Richmond, Fredericksburg, 
Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Republic, Chancellorsville, Cold Har- 
bor and Sharpsburg, with Longstreet and Beauregard, the two 
Hills, Ewell, Gordon, Early, Mahone, Rhodes, Stuart, Hampton, 
Ashby, Pettigrew, Branch, Hoke, Anderson, Pender, Daniels, Ram- 
seur, Grimes, and the two Ransoms to lead them, as they were led by 
Stonewall Jackson, while living and by his masterful spirit after death, 
and as they were all led by the illustrious Lee, in point of honor, 
efficiency and noble devotion to the cause of constitutional liberty, 
may well con over the battlefields of the world with no suggestion 
of envy, but with devout thankfulness to the God of battle for all he 
enabled them to do and dare against the world in arms. This noble 
band of freemen with the blessed motto "Pro aris et focis," in- 
scribed on their banners died in the very throes of battle with the 
magnetic thrill of liberty on its brow growing cold in death, and 
from its great heart at its last ebb of life bequeathed to you, survi- 
vors of the Confederacy, the guardianship of their honor, and their 
graves, together with its highest trust, the protection of your moth- 
ers, wives and daughters. It will be remembered that in a letter 
from the noble Georgian , General Gordon, to General Bryan 

♦Sheridan, black with the smoke and disgrace of pillage and burning, was 
there from the Shenandoah Valley. Sheman, fresh from his Attila-Georgian 
campaign and the burning of Columbia, South Carolina, was close at hand and 
made his disgraceful proximity felt. 

Grimes, among the noblest of North Carolina's sons, it is graphic- 
ally told how the thin line of North Carolina was bearing itself 
splendidly, even driving the Federal troops before it, when the 
breezes which now sweep over the classic field of Virginia for the 
first time since Yorktown of the Revolution sighed, as they kissed 
the folds of the white flag of defeat. 

And now there are some things in conclusion which belong es- 
pecially to North Carolina. Among all the States of the Confeder- 
acy, North Carolina was expressly blessed in that great tribune of 
the people, Zebulon B. Vance, perhaps of all the war governors, if 
not the most devoted, certainly among the most useful. Fortun- 
ately, for him, and for the great State which he represented as its 
Chief Executive, the great duties which developed upon him found 
him at the very meridian of a splendid manhood. Born in the 
county of Buncombe, among the fastnesses of his native mountains, 
it was the most natural thing in the world that in his Switzer home 
he should be taught by a devoted mother to love liberty from his 
very cradle. As a lawyer, perhaps both Judge Gaston and Judge 
Rufrin were his superiors; as a United States Senator perhaps Judge 
Badger and William H. Haywood were equally as well if not better 
furnished, simply as a governor, we greatly doubt whether he was 
superior to ex-Governor Thomas Bragg; as an orator with elo- 
quence divine we doubt very much whether he could move men as 
did Dr. Francis L. Hawks or Henry Watkins Miller. In the House 
of Representatives we do not think he was superior to Messrs. Wm. 
S. Ashe, Burton Craige, Dr. Shaw or Thomas Ruffin. But take 
him all in all, measured in all directions, head and heart, he was the 
best all-round representative of the genius, temper, patriotism, and 
common sense that the State has ever produced. As one who knew 
him and loved him, I beg to-day to lay this modest tribute on his 
grave, because I believe in my heart of hearts that never did man 
on the threshold of his young life love gentle, beautiful, North Car- 
olina maiden with love purer or more devoted than that which Gov. 
Vance bore his native State. He has gone, and we ne'er shall 
see his like again, but we shall keep his memory green in North 
Carolina as long as men loving liberty shall behold Mt. Mitchell 
overtopping the peaks of the surrounding mountains which he loved 
so well. I draw largely now from Senator Vance's lecture entitled 
"Last days of the War in North Carolina," delivered in Baltimore, 
Feb. 23, 1885, before the Maryland line of that city. He says that by the 
general industry and thrift of our people, and by the use of a number 
of blockade running steamers carrying out cotton and bringing in 
supplies from Europe, the following stores had been collected from 
abroad: Large quantities of machinery supplies, 60,000 pairs of hand 
cards, 10,000 grain scythes, 200 barrels of bluestone for the wheat 


growers, leather and shoes for 250,000 pairs, 50,000 blankets, gray 
wool cloth for at least 250,000 suits of uniforms, 12,000 overcoats 
ready-made, 2,000 best Enfield rifles, with 100 rounds of fixed am- 
munition for each rifle, 100,000 pounds of bacon, 500 sacks of coffee 
for hospital use, $50,000 worth of medicines at gold prices, large 
quantities of lubricating oil, and minor supplies of various kinds. 
In the winter succeeding the battle of Chickamauga, I sent to Gen. 
Longstreet's corps 14,000 suits of clothing complete. At the sur- 
render of Gen. Johnston at Greensboro, the State had on hand 
ready-made and in cloth 92,000 suits of uniform, with great stores 
of blankets, leather, etc. I was told by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston 
that when his army was surrendered, he had on hand in the various 
depots of North Carolina supplies for 60,000 men for five months, 
and that for many, many months previous, Gen. Lee's army had 
been almost entirely fed from North Carolina.* In relation to the 
number of troops furnished to the Confederate Government I have 
more than once made the boast that North Carolina furnished not 
relatively, but absolutely more troops than any other State. This 
assertion has not yet been denied to my knowledge." Thus we see 
how this remarkable man planned and cared for the following 
troops which North Carolina sent to the field. I gather this infor- 
mation from the Adjutant General's Office, and to all North Caro- 
linians, indeed to every true Southerner, it is a record of wihich we 
may all justly be proud: 

As volunteers at outset 64,636 

Recruited by volunteers from time to time 21,608 

Recruited by conscripts 18,585 

Regular troops in the State service 3,203 

Militia on home duty 2,962 

Junior reserves, Confederate service 4,217 

Senior reserves, Confederate service 5,686 

Troops from N. C. in regiments in other States . . . 3,103 

Making in all 124,000 

troops as North Carolina's part of the 600,000 all told furnished by 
the Confederate States in this fearful struggle. These troops from 
North Carolina were organized into 71 regiments, 20 battallions, 
and 24 unattached companies. All these were raised out of a white 
population in i860 of 629,942, or one soldier to every five souls. At 
Appomattox and Greensboro, North Carolina surrendered twice as 
many muskets as any other State. Her dead on the battlefield of 
Virginia in the majority of cases was twice as great as those from 

*Gov. Vance was largely aided in his noble work by his friends. By none more 
so than by Major John Devereaux, of Raleigh, N. C, whose high devotion to the 
cause, fine judgment in details and great energy made the blockade running so 
marked a success. His noble family are proud of his record and true to his 
memory as a devoted patriot. 


any other State, and in more than one of Gen. Lee's battles they ex- 
ceeded the dead from all other States put together.* These facts 
and figures, my clear friends, are not brought forward to-day to der- 
ogate from the proud record of Virginia. This cannot be done, for 
from the Kanawha to Norfolk, from Romney to the North Carolina 
line, the bosom of this dear old State is set thick with the scars of 
battle,* nor are they brought forward invidiously of any State in 
the late Confederacy, for he knows little of the mettle of Southern 
patriotism who dares to say that where the obligation to duty was so 
high, any State failed of achieving the highest record possible. It 
may be permitted me before closing this address to say one single 
word in regard to four of North Carolina's sons, whom for many 
reasons, I fain would honor. Sleeping on either side of the banks of 
the Tar River at Louisburg, mouldering in the dust of their native 
State, lie the silent forms of Col. Thos. Ruffin, killed in battle at the 

"We have been permitted to make the following' extract of a letter from Gen. 
Lee to Gov. Vance, complimenting the North Carolina troops for their glorious 
victory achieved at Reams' Station. This tribute from the great hero of this 
revolution is the highest honor that could be paid to North Carolina: 


" 'August 29, 1864. 
" 'His Excellency Z. B. Vance, Governor of North Carolina: 


" 'I have been frequently called upon to mention the services of North Carolina 
soldiers in this army, but their gallantry and conduct were never more deserv- 
ing my admiration than in the engagement at Reams' Station on the 25th inst. 

" 'The brigades of Generals Cook, McRae and Lane, the last under the tem- 
porary command of Gen. Conner, advanced through a thick abattis of felled 
trees under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery and carried the enemy's works 
with a steady courage that elicited the warm commendation of their corps and 
division commanders and the admiration of the army. 

" 'On the same occasion the brigade of Gen. Barringer bore a conspicuous part 
in the operations of the cavalry, which were no less distinguished for boldness 
and efficiency than those of the infantry. 

" 'If the men who remain in North Carolina share the spirit of those they have 
sent to the field, as I doubt not they do, her defence may be securely entrusted 
to their hands. 

" 'I am, with great respect, your obedient servant, 

" 'R. E. LEE, General* " 

*I beg to quote from the magnificent address of Col. Thomas W. Mason, deliv- 
ered at the laying of the corner-stone of the Confederate monument at Raleigh, 
in May, 1894: 

"History startles us with its record: A military population of 115,000 men; an 
army of 125,000 men! In all the annals of earth is there a nobler record of heroic 
• * * » * * * * • 

"Read the record of their daring at Chancellorsville, the deathbed of Jackson, 
in the early May days of 1863; 131 Confederate regiments under fire, twenty-five 
of them from North Carolina; 10,281 Confederates killed and wounded, 2,949 of 
them from North Carolina. 

"Shall we measure the glory of our comrade by the treasure of his blood? 
Then read this record: 51,950 Confederates killed in battle, 14,522 of them from 
North Carolina; 21,570 Confederates died of wounds, 5,150 of them from North 
Carolina; 59,297 Confederates died of disease, 20,602 of them from North Carolina; 
42,275 sons of North Carolina gave their lives to the Confederacy — more than one- 
third of her military population; 19,673 of her sons were killed in battle or died 
of wounds— more than 17 per cent, of her military population, while the average 
loss of the Confederate armies was 10 per cent, and of the Union armies 5 per 

"Read the record of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment of Petti- 
grew's Brigade, at Gettysburg, the conflict of the century: It carried in action 
over 800 men. Eighty of them were left, and history declares 'this loss of the 
Twenty-sixth North Carolina at Gettysburg was the severest regimental loss 
during the war,' in which 764 Confederate regiments and 2,047 Union regiments 
were engaged." 

*The State which gave the tongue of the Revolution in Henry; its pen in Jef- 
ferson; its sword in Washington, and which cradled and sepulchred Lee and 
Jackson can look the world in the face without envy. 


head of the first North Carolina regiment of cavalry, and that of the 
late Judge Joseph Jonathan Davis, both natives of Franklin county. 
North Carolina, and as pure patriots as ever put their foot in stirrup 
of saddle. The other two are Col. Chas. Blacknall, sleeping here 
in this cemetery, and Gen. L. O'B. Branch, as devoted sons of North 
Carolina as were ever honored by her people in peace or in war. To 
these four friends of my father, and my own as well, I have paid this 
just tribute of honest and well deserved homage, not because they 
were in anv sense any nobler than many others of North Carolina's 
sons, but because a closer knowledge of them disclosed qualities 
both of heart and mind which shed a lustre upon citizenship in my 
native State. Gen. Ransom, at a large campfire of Confederate vet- 
erans in Louisburg, North Carolina, on the 21st of August last, as 
the orator of the day, said that if all the slaves of the South could 
have been substituted by as many white people, the issue of the 
struggle could not have been doubtful. I beg to reply that had 
there been no such institution as slavery at the South, there never 
would have been, because there never could have been such an or- 
ganization as the Army of Northern Virginia, either in the splendid 
personnel of its matchless private soldiers, or the fine materals of its 
officers, commissioned and non-commissioned as well. Let the world 
say what it pleases about the institution of slavery, provided for 
and fully warranted under both Testaments of the Word of God, as 
well as under the Constitution. Under its peculiarly patriarchal influ- 
ences — in the War of 1812, in the conflict with Mexico, and in the 
war between the States, there has been produced a type of heroism, 
which, if not fully sui generis, challenges the admiration of the world 
and has won for the South, in dispassionate military circles, the 
plaudits of marshalled immortality. 

Of the fair women of my old State, members of the State Monu- 
mental Association, and their fair compatriots, it will be pardoned 
in me if I say with gratitude and admiration both in what they have 
done in their beautiful and commanding monument at the western 
gate of the State capitol grounds in Raleigh and in these beautiful 
head and foot stones here in this lot of pre-eminent honor in Stone- 
wall cemetery — they richly deserve the gratitude of their native State, 
and receive what modestly they wear, the gratitude of their native 
State, and that we have full assurance that they will go onintheblessed 
labor of love until we shall be called upon on some other red letter 
day in North Carolina's calendar to unveil, and consecrate a central 
monument with pride and pleasure, the corner stone of which we 
lay to-day in North Carolina's lot of honor in Stonewall Cemetery, 
symbolizing the unity of the States, which with lofty apex and 
broad base shall eloquently declare to oncoming generations the 
power and province of pure Southern womanhood in nerving the 


arm and strengthening the .heart of patriotic manhood. It is true, 
aye, sadly, tearfully true, dear friends, that the Southern cross shone 
out with great brilliancy again and again amid the dark clouds of 
internecine strife. It well nigh breaks the heart to fully realize that 
so near came we more than once to the very brink of the chasm 
separating us from the fields of nationality, that we inhaled the 
aroma of the flowers blooming therein, but we could not cross to 
gather them. Some inscrutable barrier interposed between us and 
our fondest hopes; the loss of the despatch at Frederick City; the 
death of Albert Syndey Johnston, at Shiloh; the death of Stonewall 
Jackson, enforcing his absence from Gettysburg; or some other 
hindrance. We know not what — we know not why. But with 
the sad refrain, Vae Victis! Vae Victis! We know not, we know 
not why, wetting in our ears, the very tolling of the death knell of 
our fondest hopes, crushing to earth all of our brightest anticipa- 
tions, we dare look all Christendom in the face to-day and say that 
when in future ages the historian, in search of the traditions of lib- 
erty, in quest of the truth, shall look for the cause that led up to and 
enthroned centralism, ranker and fouler than that of cringing Mus- 
covite, the goddess of liberty, if she walk the earth, at that time, will 
point him with tears in her eyes to that dark hour of human history 
at Appomattox Court House, and bid him write it down with iron 
pen that liberty died when the Army of Northern Virginia fell, for 
the great Virginian said truly, with the prophetic ken of an unerring 
seer, of the Confederate cause. Lost cause! Lost cause!! Lost 
cause!!! If lost, 'twas false! If true, it is not lost!